Transcripts of 12851_Landsat8_5_year

8 7 6 5 4 3 2 1 0 and ignition and lift-off! In February of 2013, NASA launched the 8th satellite in the Landsat program, continuing an unbroken string of Earth observations stretching back to 1972. Since launch, mission operations have been handled by the U.S. Geological Survey. After five years in orbit, Landsat 8 has more than met its mission to collect global data, giving scientists the ability to assess changes in Earth’s landscape. Each Landsat satellite has been an improvement on the previous generation. Landsat 8’s new design allowed more sensitive measurements, detected more wavelengths, and collected more data than ever before. More observations give scientists more opportunities to monitor forests around the globe and track blooms of algae to assess water quality. For the first time, Landsat 8 can measure a specific frequency to detect cirrus clouds thin, wispy clouds, high in the atmosphere that can interfere with scientific measurements enabling scientists to improve the accuracy of their data. More sensitive detectors can distinguish subtle changes in vegetation health. Landsat 8 data is being used to measure agricultural productivity and the condition of forests at home and around the globe. Improved sensitivty in thermal infrared wavelengths allowed the detection of an ice island calving off the Larsen C ice shelf in Antarctica during the otherwise sunless polar winter. By collecting more data, and higher-quality data, Landsat 8 enables scientists to track the velocity of glaciers as they speed up and slow down through the year, providing insights into what is driving changes in the cryosphere. Engineered with a design life of five years, Landsat 8 is still going strong, maintaining the tradition of long operational lifetimes. And engineers are already building the next satellite in the Landsat program, to continue adding more data to the Landsat archive, available for all to use at no cost.